Thursday 26 November, 2020

Airline to test direct flights between Nigeria and Jamaica

A Nigerian airline will make two exploratory direct roundtrip commercial flights in December and January from Lagos, Nigeria to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The first of their kind in history, the trips are aimed at paving the way for a regular direct airline route between the two destinations.

Outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Janet Olisa, said the initiative was a collaboration between herself and Jamaican counterpart in Abuja, Esmond Reid.

“I must give credit to the Jamaican High Commissioner in Abuja. He has been able to convince the Nigerian airline to make that happen,” Olisa said.

Olisa... I would like to see more Jamaicans visit Nigeria.

Olisa said regular commercial flights between the countries will open the door for Jamaicans to explore Nigeria while connecting with their African heritage.

“I would like to see more Jamaicans visit Nigeria. Come and see where the ancestors came from. We (Nigerians) are coming so they should come. I think we need more tourists from Jamaica to Nigeria and I am inviting Jamaicans to come,” Olisa said.

She is also hopeful that direct flights will help to boost trade between the countries, noting that her only disappointment of her three-year stay was not being able to foster greater commercial relations.

“When we look at the logistics and look at how expensive it is to even fly down, what’s the bottom line for them (businesses). I understand and I appreciate. I wasn’t able to get the business community to buy into business in Nigeria. I know there are informal trading going on, but not so recorded.

“Now we get the passenger flight and the next (step) is to get the cargo and then goods and services can be moved freely. So we are just hoping and praying that everybody comes on board, both from the Nigerian side and the Jamaican side to make the flights sustainable,” Olisa said.

Olisa is hoping that the next Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica will continue the push for better trade relations between the two countries.

----Job Nelson

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